Tension-type headaches are headaches related to muscle trigger points or muscle tenderness in the head and neck and are the most common type of headache in adults. In our Boulder physical therapy practice, we utilize hands-on techniques addressing muscles and joints of the upper cervical region for headaches. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis (Jiang et al, Medicine 2019) concluded that the combination of upper cervical spinal manipulation and soft-tissue treatment techniques were more effective for short-term pain reduction than soft tissue work alone.
It is important to note that postural impairments and upper cervical muscle atrophy have also been correlated with headache and the effect of exercise to change these contributing factors was not addressed in this study.
Please contact the headache experts at Mend to determine what combination of spinal manipulation, soft tissue mobilization and exercise is right to address your specific headache complaint.